“It’s so much bigger than whether or not you want to eat a bag of potato chips; it’s really about our world and the future of our environment.”
You’ve probably heard of GMOs. You might even have an opinion on the subject of genetically modified food. But I think it’s fair to say most of us are woefully under-informed when it comes to truly understanding and fully appreciating the vast extent to which this rapidly evolving science impacts all of us on a daily basis.
54% of all Americans polled know little to nothing about GMOs despite the fact that 80% of all processed foods currently contain GMO.
Those statistics shock me. Even worse? To date there exists no long-term studies on the impact of GMO on human and environmental health.
I’m no expert on the issue. But I do know we need to talk more about GMO. Because they were so great on their first appearance on the podcast ( RRP 191 ), I invited Daryl Wein & Zoe Lister-Jones to return to the show to bring us up to speed on the latest scientific and political developments in this incredibly important and rapidly evolving world.
In case you missed our first conversation, Daryl and Zoe are the filmmaking dynamic duo behind Consumed, a dramatic thriller in the vein of Erin Brockovich and Traffic set in the incendiary world of genetically engineered food. You may also know Zoe from her prime time CBS comedy sit com Life In Pieces or her appearance in Confirmation, the new HBO drama about the Anita Hill scandal.
Daryl and Zoe are not scientists and they don’t play ones on film or television. They are artists. That said, they are passionate and incredibly informed when it comes to the broader, long-term implications of toying with the genetic material that forms our biosphere.
Few issues are as delicate, controversial or emotionally charged as GMO. It takes courage to tackle the subject on film. I applaud that.
Today we pick up where RRP 191 left off and get granular, diving much deeper into what in my opinion qualifies as one of the most important subjects of our time. Specific topics explored include:
- what are GMOs?
- the conundrum of labeling
- the need for long-term scientific study
- factory farming awareness
- the power of the people & affected change
- widespread use of glyphosate in our food supply
- industrialized agriculture & controlling the food source
- consolidated capitalism
- genetically engineered animals
Also, Consumed was just released on demand. It’s available in certain territories on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play, but the best place to find it, stream it, download it, watch it and learn more is consumedthemovie.com.
The film is really well done — impactful, earnest, thoughtful and entertaining. But it’s not a documentary. It doesn’t presuppose to answer questions, only ask them.
As for questions, I’ve got a few of my own. So let’s get to the asking.
I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange.
Peace + Plants,
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Background, Context & Reference:
- Consumed on Facebook: facebook.com/consumedthemovie
- Consumed: Special Behind the Scenes Interviews
- Thrive Market
- Memphis Meats
- The Environmental Working Group’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Learn more by visiting ewg.org
- The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices. To learn more visit nongmoproject.org
- The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability
More on GMO:
- Congress: H.R.1599 – Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 [AKA: Deny American the Right to Know (DARK) Act]
- FoodDemocracyNow: Stop Monsanto’s secret plan to Kill GMO Labeling!
- CenterForFoodSafety: International Labeling Laws
- NYTimes: Strong Support for Labeling Modified Foods
- TheHill: The Great GMO Cover-Up #2 Companies Hide Dangers; Attack Scientists
- HuffPost: Why The New GMO Food-Labeling Law Is So Controversial
- WashingtonPost: Why this genetically modified mushroom gets to skip USDA oversight
- ABCNews: Genetically Modified Mosquito Study in Florida to Halt Spread of Viruses Sparks Eco Debate
- WSJ: Vermont Seeks Documents on GMOs from Seed, Food Companies
- LivingMaxwell: Does Monsanto’s Glyphosate Cause Cancer?
- ModernFarmer: Caught in the Middle: Farmers Seek a New and Improved GMO Debate
- Nature: GM-crop opponents expand probe into ties between scientists and industry
- BuzzFeed: Seed Money
- Book: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate*
- Video: Gwyneth Paltrow Demonstrates Why QR Codes are an Unacceptable Alternative to GMO-Labels
- TheEcologist: Why is Bill Gates backing GMO red banana ‘biopiracy’?
- LivingMaxwell: Dannon to transition to non-GMO feed for milk in flagship brands over three years
- LivingMaxwell: Big Ag Doesn’t Want You To Know About Pesticides On Produce
- TheGuardian: Largest US food producers ask Congress to shield lobbying activities
- UCSUSA: Failure To Yield:Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops
- NPR: Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Join The Fight To Stop Zika Virus
- LivingMaxwell: Hawai‘i State Legislature Provides Landmark State-Funded Tax Credit Supporting Organic Farmers
- FDA: AquAdvantage Salmon
- LivingMaxwell: U.S. traders reject GMO crops that lack global approval
- LivingMaxwell: What Is Going On With Glyphosate? EPA’s Odd Handling of Controversial Chemical
- Grist: A class action lawsuit against Chipotle says the chain is lying to diners about GMOs
- NPR: Class-Action Suit Alleges Chipotle’s GMO-Free Campaign Is Deceptive
- Consumerist: Pepsi, Frito-Lay Quietly Adding GMO Ingredient Labels To Some Foods
- NYTimes: Acreage for Genetically Modified Crops Declined in 2015
Notable People Discussed:
- Gregor Mendel: scientist who gained posthumous fame as the founder of the modern science of genetics
- Danny Glover: American actor
- Victor Garber: Canadian film, stage & television actor
- Taylor Kinney: American actor and model
- Anthony Edwards: American actor best known for his role in ER
- Beth Grant: American character actress
- Griffin Dunne: American actor and producer
- Kunal Nayyar: Indian actor best known for his role in The Big Bang Theory
- Erin Brockovich: consumer advocate
- Richard Blumenthal: United States Senator for Connecticut
- Dave Murphy: founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now!
- Scott Faber: Environmental Working Group
- Kevin Folta: professor of horticultural science
- Courtney White: former archaeologist and Sierra Club activist
- Naomi Klein: Canadian author, social activist, and filmmaker known for her political analyses and criticism of corporate globalization and of corporate capitalism
Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy:
- RRP #190:Gunnar Lovelace’s Mission To Make Healthy Food Affordable For Everyone
- RRP #191:Grappling With GMOs: Daryl Wein & Zoe Lister-Jones On ‘Consumed’ — Making A Thriller Out Of The Politics Of Food
Thanks to Jason Camiolo for production and audio engineering; Chris Swan for production assistance; Shawn Patterson for his graphic wizardry; and Ana Leimma for theme music. The score from Consumed is this week’s interstitial music, written by Nima Fakhrara.
*Disclosure:Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
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